Day 5 – Reflections on Lock-Down

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Although, I love having Honey the Dog in my life, one thing I find particularly annoying is she doesn’t seem to know the difference between a week-day and the weekend.  This was very evident this morning, when she woke me up at 7am – sitting on the floor, staring at me and squeaking!! Her body clock was spot on!

I was looking forward to a long-lie in bed and had made a particular effort to check all alarm clocks were off, knowing that The Chris Evans Breakfast Show was not on this morning.  But alas this was not going to be.

Despite trying to ignore Honey the Dog, by 7.30am I concluded the quickest way to get back to sleep, was to take her out, give her breakfast and then go back to bed.  So half asleep, I threw on some clothes and went outside.

Wow! Suddenly I was stopped in my tracks!!  The fresh air!  The fresh morning air!  It was just perfect.

I had forgotten how that felt after so long in my flat, stuck in my head.  It was a lovely morning and completely silent.  I just stood there and enjoyed the beauty of it all.  The silence, the presence, the stillness, the awareness.

I didn’t want to move, enjoying the moment – I wanted to stand there all day.  But alas, Honey the Dog had other ideas!

How amazing, just in a few days, being outside was such an awesome experience!!  I hope I treasure this, once lock-down is over.

And so we went round the corner to the graveyard that my flat looks over (photo at the top of this blog).  The sun was shining, and starting to rise – the sky was blue.  Its impossible to describe how lovely it was, I just don’t have the words….It was simply perfect.

I reflected on how the last two days there had been no sun.  Just one massive cloud sitting over the whole of Edinburgh!  It reminded me of when I lived in Glasgow, one time I noticed that it had rained non-stop for ten days!  We had not seen the sun for ten whole days!  But the amazing feeling of freshness and release in the air, when it finally cleared was wonderful.  This was a mini-version of this.

It wasn’t long, until I was back in my bed, trying to get back to sleep.  But alas, I was now awake.  So I spent most the morning lying in bed watching TV on my iPad and looking at posts people had sent me.

I found this video particularly funny – an example of total self-isolating –

When I finally got up, I decided it was time for a run.  I had already planned to have a run later in the morning, so I could see more people.  Not necessarily talk to them, but just be around them (2 meters apart or more – of course!).  Early morning runs/walks means I see a lot less people.

I was all set to go out and the phone rang, it was my mum.  She was wanting to help with her blog.

My mum is not very computer literate, so when she said a couple of years ago that she wanted to start a blog, I offered to help.  I have been slowly teaching her how to post blogs on WordPress (only blog platform I know how to use).  With more time on her hands on lock-down she is getting back into it.

The text she had written, was all in one line, no paragraphs.  When I pointed this out to her, she said she did not know how to move to the next line, exclaiming she has had the same problem writing emails.

It turned out she did not know the existence of the ‘return’ or ‘enter’ buttons to move to the next line.  She was thrilled when I told her how to do this, grabbing her pen to write it down to remember.

It made me think, I wonder how many other older people are finding this whole new age of computers, iPads, Smart Phones and the internet a bit overwhelming?  With us all being on lock-down there must be a lot of older people just starting out.

Its so interesting how much change we are being pushed into whilst on this lock-down, whether we want it or not.  But we are adapting to it.  I love the following quote about change…

You can not discover new oceans unless you have courage to lose sight of the show.

How many of us wish life to be different, but never take the risk to change it?  I can certainly relate to this.  In the current lock-down we don’t have the choice to stay near the shore, we are discovering new oceans and we are surviving.  Everything feels so strange and different to what we are used to – I’m personally loving the newness in my life, and yet also finding it such a struggle !!

I was listening to LBC Radio the other day (people phone in with questions to ask the ‘expert’).  An older gentleman phoned saying he had just got an iPad and was now trying to work out how to use WhatsApp so he could communicate with his son – only to be told you can only access WhatsApp on a smartphone, which he did not have.  An older lady called in to say she didn’t have the internet and how could she access it.  The ‘expert’ suggested it would be easier to get a dongle whilst she was on lock-down.

Later in the day my mum finished the blog and now it is online –

Finally at 2.30pm I got out for my run – as I hoped Easter Road was bustling with people, well compared to the last few days!  Although quite chilly it was great to be outdoors.

With the thoughts on newness and change in my mind.  I decided not to stick to any paths and ran up the side of Arthur’s Seat.  It felt really invigorating trying to keep my balance and really enjoyed the rugged varied terrain.

Back along Easter Road and I found Mo Beans Coffee Shop, which I go into most mornings (outwith lock-down) was open.  It had been shut since last Friday.  I was so excited to see it open, even just for take-aways, so Honey and I dropped in.  Seeing the two familiar faces over the counter.

It felt weird being back in a place that felt so ‘normal’ and a pang of disappointed waved over me – “I don’t want to go back to the life I’ve been living for the last few years”….and I realised, that despite all the uncertainty, struggles, newness and exhaustion of lock-down  – I am totally loving it.

I am loving discovering new oceans!!

I continued my run back home and fell asleep for 3 hours!  Although I love the change its totally exhausting!

As I come to the end of today’s blog, I reflect on change.  It’s been 5 days on lock-down.  It feels like a lifetime.  We have all been pushed to our limits.  Many having to isolate for 12 weeks.  Others discovering the world of working from home for the first time.  Some not having a job and not knowing how we will survive financially.  The news has been relentless – new rules, new updates, new announcements, fears about the NHS and the new cases and deaths all around the world.  Let alone adjusting to a whole new virtual world. And staying indoors!

For me, it has brought me into the moment.  Time has been so slow and that’s because there have been so many new and different moments.  It has been wonderful and I wonder how it will change my perspective in the long term.

So as you come to the end of reading this blog, I encourage you to reflect on the last 5 days on lock-down.  How has it been for you?

Have you enjoyed or hated all the change?  How does newness and change feel for you in your life?  For most of us, our worlds have been turned upside down.  We have not had the choice but to let go of the shore and begin to discover new oceans.  Is change scary?  Is it an adventure? Is it exciting?  Does it make you fearful?  Excited?

For me, I want to keep really noticing the moments, which are so ordinary, yet so special.  Like the fresh air first thing this morning.  Those moments are what we miss when we live in our routines and habits of everyday life.  This lock-down has given us a chance to pause and notice, a time to reflect and stand still.  So lets enjoy it while we can.

Stay Safe.

Thanks for reading.

Jim xx